Did NAC, Vitamin E and/or Prednisone Give Me Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MikeyJ, Sep 12, 2022.

    1. MikeyJ

      MikeyJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi everyone. Thanks in advance for reading my long post.

      Six months ago I was diagnosed with mild low frequency idiopathic SSHL in one ear and ever since I have been in a struggle to regain my hearing.

      I had great success initially with Prednisone and multiple Dexamethasone intratympanic injections. But I also had several setbacks and repeated the process. A month ago I started one last round of intratympanic injections and my third (!), three-week 70 mg Prednisone taper (70 mg - 3 days, 60 mg - 3 days, etc.) in five months. I had no side effects on the first two courses but this last one was really rough in several ways. And unlike the first two courses, on the last one I was getting some ringing and buzzing in my ears each day shortly after taking it but it would fade away by nighttime and I did not have any ringing or buzzing at all after tapering off.

      This brings the story to last Saturday morning, two days after my last injection and three days after finishing the last course of Prednisone. I woke up Saturday and noticed my low frequencies levels had bounced back again and I was happy. Yet it’s from that moment on that things went downhill.

      Here I have to backtrack one more time. Since last December I’ve been on 0.75-1mg of Klonopin daily for sleep and general anxiety and had recently started tapering off very slowly with no issues. In addition, since the hearing loss originally began, I’ve tried several different supplements and vitamins. Both NAC and vitamin E were staples at one point, especially NAC after my hearing had initially recovered. I never had any issues with either even at pretty high doses of NAC. Though after my last setback with the hearing loss, I stopped all supplements when I started this last round of intratympanic injections and Prednisone.

      Now back to this past Saturday morning. After waking, I took my Klonopin as usual and then fell back asleep. A little after I woke, I put on the TV and noticed some distortion that wasn’t there a few hours earlier, meaning that my hearing levels had dropped off some. I was disappointed but waited a couple hours bit to see if they would bounce back. They didn’t. I then decided to take one NAC (600 mg) and a vitamin E (400 mg). About two hours later I put on the TV and my low frequencies had basically bottomed out. That had never happened before and on top of it, I realized my BOTH ears were ringing at a very high pitch with a buzzing as well. This had never happened either. I was in disbelief but stayed calm figuring it was just temporary until the NAC and vitamin E got out of my system. As the hours passed and it was still there I began to panic a bit. Had I just given myself tinnitus from a supplement and vitamin I had taken many time before and are known to be good for ears (or at least not harmful)? Apparently I may have as it’s been a week and it’s still there. The buzzing is pretty much gone but still comes back once in a while and it sounds a lot like what I heard when taking the Prednisone. The high pitch has remained mostly constant though there have been several times where I can barely notice it even in a completely silent room and once or twice it had basically appeared to go away so much so that I got excited that it was going to just go away but yet it still keeps coming back. I’m obviously still taking the Klonopin because I can’t just stop cold turkey so I realize it could be suppressing the sound temporarily or keeping me calm at times, and lastly, I don’t have any sensitivity to sound (other than the distortion from my hearing loss) and sounds don’t appear to make it worse.

      Given that I only took NAC and vitamin E, I’m beginning to think this may have more to do with the Prednisone, having only been off it at that point for three days. But I’ve also since read that vitamin E can under the right conditions turn out to not be such a good thing. I imagine the might be similar NAC as well but never in a million years did I think that either one or the the combination would give me (hopefully not) permanent tinnitus. My theory lies more that they caused something to happen given my whole body is probably still out of whack so to speak from the Prednisone, even though I don’t feel any other physical symptoms. But of course it’s just a theory.

      I’m hopeful that this could all just go away or at least lessen significantly over the coming days or weeks, when my system bounces back from all the Prednisone but I also realize it’s been over a week since it started and it might not. It’s just so confusing that I went from not having tinnitus to having tinnitus just a few hours after taking NAC and vitamin E and taking or doing nothing else.

      I’d appreciate any thoughts on what might’ve happened even though I realize I’ll never know for sure. Also, any ideas on what to do or take that might help (if anything), or educated guesses on what might be to come. I’m obviously hoping to hear that given how it happened some may think it’s just temporary but either way, any input or just words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
       
    2. makeyourownluck
      Vegged out

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi @MikeyJ, a week is not very long at all. The chances of it disappearing/improving significantly are high. Try your best to remain calm, and avoid loud environments like the plague.
       
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    3. Gabriel5050
      Dead

      Gabriel5050 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (most likely)
      I take 2x NAC 600 mg per day. I will take a break every 1-2 months for a week. If I'm having a really bad day, I will even take 1800 mg NAC total.

      I also take 1 daily multivitamin that has 18 mg of vitamin E.

      Ever since I started taking these, I can't say they have done me any harm. Did they prevent any hearing damage / tinnitus worsenings? Debatable. But I wouldn't be worried about vitamins. Just try to not go too much over the recommended daily intakes.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MikeyJ

      MikeyJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks @makeyourownluck for the reply and for the words of encouragement.

      As to your comment about avoiding loud environments, since this definitely wasn’t noise induced and so far doesn’t seem to be reacting to sound, would noise absolutely be a factor in potentially making things worse? Do all cases of tinnitus typically worsen or spike because of sound or just those that are noise induced?

      On that note, I’m curious what you consider a loud environment? A restaurant? Driving? Or more like a concert (which won’t be happening for a very long time anyway). And do you mean forever or just during the early stage?

      I’m already careful with noisy environments while protecting my ear that I’m still trying to get the hearing back, but I’m interested in how it relates to tinnitus that isn’t noise induced.
       
    5. makeyourownluck
      Vegged out

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Tinnitus is linked with hearing loss, and noise is the leading cause of hearing loss. I know you had pre-existing hearing loss w/o tinnitus, but your hearing is fluctuating and tinnitus onset coincided with a dip in hearing. If I were you, I would avoid loud environments e.g., bars, clubs, loud restaurants, concerts.

      For me it’s a no brainier. I will never set foot in these environments again. It’s just not worth it.

      Also, it is almost impossible to know if your tinnitus isn’t caused by noise. Noise damage is cumulative. Certain drugs also make your ears more sensitive to damage. I’m certain the combination of Doxycycline and moderately loud repetitive noise is what caused my hearing loss.
       
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    6. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      I don’t go to bars or clubs. But what do you do about restaurants? If you walk in and it’s too loud, do you turn around and leave? I always have my earplugs with me for that reason.
       
    7. makeyourownluck
      Vegged out

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes, if I walk in anywhere (shops, restaurants, houses, the list goes on) and think it’s too loud, I instantly turn around and leave. If I stayed in these environments, I wouldn’t enjoy myself, I’d be too anxious.

      I am attending a work event next week and have told my boss that if it’s too loud I will not be staying. Our health has to come first.

      Can I ask why you would stay at a loud restaurant? Do you feel comfortable in earplugs? Or is it more for other peoples benefit and convenience?
       
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    8. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      I don’t enjoy being in any loud restaurant. Or continuously wearing earplugs. Unfortunately there are times when I’m getting together with a large group of friends and the restaurant is noisy. The more people you have together talking the louder it gets. I’m currently in a very bad time of a spike and actually dread wearing my earplugs because of course it just magnifies the sound. Driving on the highway for a long distance is excruciating.

      I have definitely made some mark adjustments. I work primarily from home. I refuse to wear earbuds and headphones. So I work mostly from home so that I can just use the volume on my computer for work calls.
       
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    9. ZFire
      Movie buff

      ZFire Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      If the restaurant is too loud, I bail out without hesitation, even if I have hearing protection with me. Not because I fear the protection is not adequate enough, but because I hate eating food with ear protection on. Too much occlusion and it’s unpleasant. I went to a restaurant a couple months back with some family members and the place was too loud for me (lots of music playing). So I left and waited in the car while the family enjoyed themselves in the restaurant (they understood my concern). I did ordered take out food delivery near the area and ate my food in some quiet public area briefly, so it wasn’t all too bad. With this condition, sometimes you need to improvise to put yourself in a more comfortable position.

      But as @makeyourownluck said, there’s no point staying in an environment that you know you’re not going to have a good time in because you’re too worried and anxious about the noise around you. Better to look out for yourself instead.
       
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    10. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Yes, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I will not be able to attend either of my sons’ weddings. That is of course unless they’re willing to not have a band or any guests. I’m now relegated to living in my house in a bubble.
       
    11. ZFire
      Movie buff

      ZFire Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      But you can still go to restaurants though, right? Just go to the ones you find more comfortable and are less noisy. Time of day is also important.

      As for your sons’ future weddings, I’m sure you can figure something out there. You could try having these weddings outdoors with softer ambient music playing in the background. Just an idea.
       
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    12. makeyourownluck
      Vegged out

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sorry to hear that you are struggling. This condition is so tough. I think you just have to prioritise yourself, don’t go anywhere you feel uncomfortable and you will have a much better chance of getting back to baseline.

      Anytime I have a loud noise incident, I always follow it up with a quiet few days/weeks. If you have a sore knee you wouldn’t go out running, but a light walk might be OK, and could even help. Just take it easy - meet friends individually, only go to the wedding service (the most important part anyway), etc.

      I hope this spike passes. It’s happened for you before and can happen again. You know better than anyone how this condition can improve. Hang in there.
       
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    13. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Thank you. That is great advice. I have been trying to practice ear rest.

      Next weekend I have a 40th birthday girls weekend away that I have planned for a friend. I will definitely be modifying my activities and what I can and cannot due even with earplugs.

      I’d love to be able to call this a spike but I don’t know. It just feels slightly higher in frequency and louder and I suspect it may be my new normal. In other words, there’s a new flavor to it that I didn’t have before. Even though it could be very high-pitched before.

      I just spoke with the doctor today who has tinnitus himself and has studied it for the last 40 years of his medical career. I explained to him the situation and he very emphatically does not think that I suffered any hearing loss for the short amount of time of the concert particular because I did have ear plugs in. He’s not a big subscriber to the whole bone conduction hearing loss unless you are exposed over a long period of time. While it happens under certain circumstances, like using a jack hammer, he doubts it happened to me. That would all be great news because I think makes the chances of recovery better. At least I’m taking steroids so at least I know I’m doing something.

      Thanks for the the support.

      Best,
      Danielle
       
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